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  • CAA (California Apartment Association)


Small-scale landlords in California need smart marketing strategies to attract quality tenants. Here’s a quick guide to help you stay ahead of the curve.

1. Do your homework: Research the competition by analyzing similar rental properties in your area. Identify the amenities, features, and pricing your competitors offer, and use this data to promote your property’s unique advantages, key features, and enticing incentives.


  • CAA’s Industry Insight paper: Screening: Establishing Criteria

  • CAA’s on-demand webinar: Application Logistics: Screening Fees, Holding Deposits, and Best Practices for Handling Applications

2. Build an eye-catching website: To capture attention, create a sleek, user-friendly website showcasing essential details like bedrooms, size, location, and amenities. Engage potential tenants with vivid descriptions, genuine customer reviews, and professional-quality images. Sweeten the deal with exclusive packages or offers for site visitors.

3. Leverage online listings: Maximize your reach by listing your property on popular platforms like Craigslist and Zillow. These sites enable landlords to post property descriptions, photos, and connect with interested renters, expanding your audience without draining your resources.

4. Snap striking photos: Make a lasting impression with high-quality, visually appealing images that highlight your rental property’s best features and unique amenities. Focus on key areas like the kitchen, bathroom, and outdoor spaces, and add tasteful touches such as flowers or throws to enhance your property’s appeal.

5. Screen tenants rigorously: Implement a comprehensive tenant screening process to ensure you’re bringing in good renters. Review applications thoroughly, verify income, conduct credit checks, and check references. An in-depth screening process allows landlords to make informed decisions to find a tenant who will pay the rent on time and comply with their rental agreement for their property. Note, In California, it is illegal for rental property owners to have blanket policies against renting to tenants with criminal histories, and some cities prohibit the use of criminal background checks during screening. “At this time, CAA does not recommend the use of criminal background checks except in consultation with an experienced Fair Housing attorney,” said Monica Deka, compliance and legislative counsel for CAA. For help with tenant screening, consider CAA’s screening partner, RentSpree.

6. Entice with perks: Attract potential tenants by offering exclusive discounts or freebies. Consider perks like discounted first month’s rent, waived pet fees, free moving supplies. Be aware that state and local rent control laws may require you to have special disclosures for temporary discounts or concessions or may require you to factor them into future rent increase calculations, so it’s important to understand how these laws apply before offering such specials. A “welcome package” featuring checklists and local insights can also help create an irresistible offer.

To sum it up, small landlords can conquer marketing challenges by researching competitors, designing an engaging website, utilizing online listing services, capturing stunning property photos, conducting rigorous tenant screening, and offering alluring perks. Embrace these strategies to become a successful landlord and find the perfect tenants for your rental properties. Get started today and enjoy the transformative results.


  • This is a small part of what a property management company should be doing for you.

  • A property management company should have in-depth expertise and experience in doing these 6 things (and more).

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